After cremation services offered in Englewood, OH, people may feel isolated and alone in their grief over the deaths of their loved ones, especially during the coronavirus pandemic when there are so many restrictions that inhibit how physically involved other people can be.
With the normal traditions and rituals associated with death upended by the pandemic, people who are grieving can feel as if they’re living in an alternate universe where they are completely on their own.
This is true even for people who may not think of themselves as “ritual” and “traditions” people, because we’ve taken for granted that comfort, support, and sympathy would also be there is a physical and personal way that helps us as we make our way through the grief process.
So, how do you support someone who is grieving when you can’t physically be there with them?
Mail them a card offering your condolences on their loss. If you don’t have a sympathy card on hand, then write your note on a piece of paper. Be sure to let them know how sorry you were to hear of their loved one’s death and offer memories and comfort in the words that follow.
Most of all, actually put a stamp on the envelope and mail the card as quickly as possible after their loved one’s death. Receiving a card can help the person who is grieving realize that they are not isolated and alone, and that can make a huge difference in a time that can often seem, to some people, very isolating and lonely.
If you don’t have what you need to send a physical card (when is the last time you bought stamps?), then consider using a digital alternative to reach out to help support someone who is grieving when you can’t be there.
One digital possibility is sending an ecard. Many ecard companies have free sympathy cards that you can personalize and send. Another digital possibility is to send an email. The email doesn’t have to be long-winded but make sure you offer consolation and offer to contact the grieving person in a more personal way, such as a virtual meeting or a phone call.
Unless the person you’re consoling is not someone you are very close to, avoid sending sympathy messages through social media, even in private messages. Although people do it, it’s still considered less personal than reaching out with something that has your personal imprint on it.
Don’t let your condolences be the last time the grieving person hears from you. Reach out to them on an on-going basis to offer them support. Don’t assume that someone who is grieving needs space (if they need space, they will tell you), especially during a time when a lot of space is what most people have.
Keep the lines of communication open and let the grieving person guide the process. Reach out to them in a way that is familiar in your relationship, whether that is phone calls, texts, or emails. Let them know that you are available for whatever they need in terms of support.
If the grieving person tells you they will let you know if they need anything, make sure they know that you’ll be checking in with them on a regular basis because you know they don’t know what they need – or will need – right now.